This month marks the official retirement of UHY Haines Norton Director John Ballard, who is stepping down from the demanding Director role in favour of much-deserved long weekends on Waiheke. Although John will still be a familiar face here in the office as he assists in a part-time consulting role, his retirement from the Director team certainly marks the end of an era.
John set up his first accounting practice more than 40 years ago. His natural leadership skills, combined with a fierce dedication to his clients, have ensured his success whilst earning great respect.
We took the opportunity to sit down with John to reminisce about his career and the incredible changes he has witnessed over the years.
How did your career as an accountant begin?
I was working for the Ministry of Works in town, and that was a very good job. We started the practice in Henderson in March 1970 – the position was advertised with an accounting office in Avondale wanting to open up in Henderson as “the growth area” so I did that. In those days when we had an office in Avondale it was a toll call from Henderson to Avondale – that is an operator-assisted toll call. Not long afterwards it became automated but it was still a toll call. The West City mall wasn’t thought up or dreamed of, or even on the plan – that came years later. That’s when we started. In those days Catherine Street was just that: a street, not Catherine Mall, it was a street, the road went right through and then they plonked the Mall in the middle of it. From where our office is was a metal road. And so we saw lots of opportunity in the west, which proved to be correct.Details